Health Effects of Arsenic

Arsenic can cause or contribute to numerous health issues in humans and animals. The element occurs naturally in the soil and enters the water supply throughout the U.S., especially in the West, Midwest and New England. After more than 20 years of debate, a new arsenic standard was signed into law in late 2001, reducing the allowable level for the contaminant in drinking water by more than 80%. The law impacts 4,100 public water systems that serve 13 million people. An additional 40 million Americans obtain their water from private wells which may have high levels of arsenic. The current maximum contaminant level (mcl) is 10 ppb.

Potential short-term health effects associated with arsenic exposure include:

Stomach pain Difficulty Swallowing Skin lesions
Convulsions Low blood pressure Vomiting
Pigmentation Gastrointestinal problems  

Potential long-term health effects associated with arsenic exposure include:

Bladder cancer Gangrene Immunological disorders
Skin cancer Limb loss Endocrine disorders
Kidney cancer Keratosis Hematological disorders
Liver cancer Neurological effects Reproductive problems
Prostate cancer Cardiovascular disease Developmental problems
Lung cancer Pulmonary disease  

Arsenic Cancer Risk Factor

(in ppb) Approximate Total Cancer Risk (assuming 2 liters consumed / day)
0.5 ppb 1 in 10,000
1 ppb 1 in 5,000
3 ppb 1 in 1,667
4 ppb 1 in 2,500
5 ppb 1 in 1,000
10 ppb 1 in 750
20 ppb 1 in 500
25 ppb 1 in 250
50 ppb 1 in 100
100 ppb 1 in 50

Source: National Academy of Sciences

Point-of-Entry / Residential Solutions

Adsorption Media – Arsenic Reduction

Adedge Technologies’ AD33 media is the industry standard for arsenic reduction that reduces up to 99% of total arsenic, including both arsenic (III) and arsenic (V). It is also effective in reducing other heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, antimony and molybdenum. This revolutionary iron-based granular adsorption media has 4 to 10 times the capacity of many adsorption medias. Adedge’s product is specifically designed for commercial and residential systems to meet the EPA arsenic standard of 10 ppb. Developed in the mid-nineties, this ferric oxide-based product has been successfully used in large-scale drinking water applications since 1999. The AD33 media is discardable when spent and requires no chemicals or regeneration. It has become the premier product of choice for whole house drinking water treatment systems for reliable, cost-effective, proven reduction of arsenic.


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